Single-Ion Solvation: Experimental and Theoretical Approaches to Elusive Thermodynamic Quantities,

Philippe
Hünenberger
and
Maria
Reif
RSC
,
Cambridge, UK
, 2011. $144.99 (664 pp.). ISBN 978-1-84755-187-0

Classical thermodynamics is a beautiful subject. Albert Einstein famously said that it “is the only physical theory of universal content which I am convinced will never be overthrown.” Indeed, scientists are confident that we will not observe any violation of the first and second laws of Rudolf Clausius’s thermodynamics, even after we admit the post-Clausius realities of relativity, atomic structure, and quantum mechanics.

But other firm prescriptions of classical thermodynamics are not on such solid ground. For example, it is possible in the context of classical thermodynamics to measure the free energy of a solution containing sodium chloride, but because electroneutrality must be attained in bulk matter, it is impossible to measure the free energy of a solution of...

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